Combative, Vélez will make a very tough semifinal with Flamengo

What was predicted happened. As we imagined at the beginning of July, Vélez Sarsfield will be Flamengo’s opponent in the Libertadores semifinal.

There is indeed a considerable difference in the squad, and Flamengo is the clear favorite to reach their second decision in a row, but it is worth respecting Vélez from now on.

It will be the clash “of power [do Fla] against the sweat [do Vélez]”, as defined by Radio La Red, from Buenos Aires last night.

The Buenos Aires club took to the field yesterday (10) in the 1-0 victory over Talleres in Córdoba their great virtue in the knockout stages: an absurd appetite in each play, shining in what Argentines traditionally appreciate in their “battlefield “.

It is a Vélez that spares nothing in any match, being a worthy representative of another pun well repeated in Argentina. He is a masterpiece of “soccer art”.

“Martial art”, of course.

oso - GettyImages - GettyImages

Vélez beats Talleres and takes Flamengo in the Libertadores semis

Image: GettyImages

Split even with the head

The Technician’s Proposalchief” Medina yesterday in Cordoba was to lock the team in two lines of four well formed in the defense and in the midfield. the defenders of Talleres.

The high point, but very high indeed, was Lucas Pratto. In the opinion of the column, yesterday he made his best match in his career since the goals for River in the decisions against Boca in 2018.

He lived up to the nickname “Bear”, kicking and fighting for balls with an insanity all peculiar to a player of his physique (1.87 meters and 91 kilos). He helped Medina’s scheme a lot, acting as a point guard. He disarmed and offered the precise balls that threatened Talleres so much in the counterattacks.

Another highlight of this Vélez that will face Flamengo is the total lack of decoration.

Yesterday in Cordoba there was a class in seriousness. The good right-back Jara was another example. In the best style “ball to the woods that the game is a championship”, he always isolated where his nose pointed, but never losing a duel.

(Another accurate comparison circulating in Argentina is that Flamengo will need serenity to overcome Vélez’s seriousness.)

Who also shone in the fights was the great defender Valentín Gómez, just 19 years old, who still in the first half went with his head to share a ball with a Talleres striker who used his foot.

It is a Vélez mixed between young and experienced and with great use of the base divisions.

Impossible to call them promises. They are already realities. With 19 years old, defender Gómez and midfielder Máximo Perrone, and forward Julián Fernández, 18-year-old scorer, are players who will face this semi-final with Flamengo as the game of their lives.

For Fla, it will be one more step in pursuit of the goal it achieved, for example, last year. For Vélez, it will be the gateway to the feat of a club that is in its first semifinal since 2011 (lost to Peñarol) and seeks its first decision since 1994 (it was champion over a São Paulo that was also favorite like Fla and now).

There is, however, great doubt about how Vélez will receive Flamengo after the barbaric massacre of visitors to Talleres last week.

Conmebol gave a harsh report on what happened at the José Amalfitani Stadium, but has not yet announced whether there will be a sanction.

It will be deserved. Who also deserves punishment is coach Alexander “Cacique” Medina, who yesterday exchanged pushes with the Talleres athletes. He had already kicked a Godoy Cruz player for the Argentine Championship.

Flamengo has a lot more team, but will need technique and patience to pierce the boom and wither Vélez’s enthusiasm.

Fla’s opponent has already proved his cup-bearing spirit in the two previous series and will demand enormous seriousness from Dorival Júnior’s men. Vélez will propose a tough game. Understanding how Flamengo will disarm this attempt will be the key to the confrontation.

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